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Rock the Arches Music Festival scheduled for Saturday

By Staff | Apr 24, 2019

Restore Fort Myers Beach Arches Inc. is holding its biggest fundraiser and awareness event of the year this weekend at Bonita Bills Waterfront Caf, complete with raffles and live music.

Restore Fort Myers Beach Arches, Inc. President Steven Ray McDonald said the inaugural event was an awareness raiser.

“We grew our group quite a bit and we started seeing a huge spike in the number of members joining our Facebook group,” he said, adding that the event is “for raising awareness for our project and raising money.”

The second annual Rock the Arches Music Festival will be held from 4 to 9:30 p.m. this Saturday, April 27, at Bonita Bills Waterfront Caf, 702 Fisherman’s Wharf. The event is free to attend.

“Bonita Bills will have great food and drinks and we will have free music and great raffles and art work. We hope everyone has a good time again,” McDonald said.

Raffle tickets, which are now on sale at Bridgette’s Place, 17284 San Carlos Blvd., are $5 for one, or five for $20.

There are 38 chances to win the raffle and individuals do not have to be present to win. McDonald said they will announce raffle winners every hour.

“There are great prizes. Our sponsors have been really generous,” he said.

The entertainment includes Siren Says Rock, who will perform from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., and headliner Bad Latitude, who will take the stage from 5:45 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

McDonald said Bad Latitude was their headliner last year and they did a great job.

“Bonita Bills loved them and we loved them. It should be a hoot,” he said.

Last year, the festival raised $1,600 for Restore Fort Myers Beach Arches. The goal this weekend is to raise $2,800, which will finish funding the 3D printing and forklift rental.

Restore Fort Myers Beach Arches funded heavy equipment to dig the original Fort Myers Beach Arches remains from the ground, where they had been for 40 years, on Jan. 21. USF IDEx conducted 3D imaging of the remains, which was done for free.

McDonald said they should be receiving the 21 3D imaging soon of the rocks that are left, which will help in recreating the arches in a dimensional data base.

“We will use the old building from Bonita Bills to scale it,” he said.

With the group not making any headway with the Lee County Board of County Commissioners, they decided to poll the members to see how they feel about putting the arches on private property, which would require them only to have a building permit.

“It’s way cheaper to put arches on private property,” McDonald said. “We are hoping that someone with private property in the prominent location, preferably on San Carlos, would like us to build a replica of the original arches. If we don’t build them over FDOT roads, we can build the same size, shape and original materials on private land. We may be changing our direction to get a building permit on private property who wants a free replica of the arches.”